Regulars here will know that the NZ Lectionary publication is an easy target for a blog post about liturgical confusion. It has been three weeks since my last post about this – I have successfully been resisting the temptation to point out issues in the NZ Lectionary.
But regulars will also know that when it concerns the Trinity, or the celebration of our redemption, especially the fifty days of the Easter Season, I just cannot contain my irritation.
This week, suddenly, and of course without any explanation, on the 41st day of the Easter Season, the NZ Lectionary gets bored with the colour White and starts putting up Red in stead!
This in spite of our church’s rules for precedence (a formulary of our church?) quoted in the Lectionary publication (page 121):
The paschal character of the Great Fifty Days of Eastertide (from Easter Day to the Day of Pentecost) should be celebrated throughout the season and not displaced by other celebrations.
Twice in the Lectionary (page 4, page 125) publication we are told
The colours… are not mandatory but reflect common practice in most parishes
(and don’t even get me started on the inability of our church to recognise that worship occurs outside of parishes…)
In our church (known as the Anglican Church of Or) usually every possible imaginable option is presented – and then some more; to the point of the Lectionary suggesting all four liturgical colours for one day! [Quick glance: eg. Sunday 11 November has all four colours shown!] Why, then, is only Red suggested for the seasonal colour here?!!!
This period in the church year in NZ Anglicanism used to be White. Suddenly, of course without any explanation, it was changed. From Friday after Ascension Day to the Day of Pentecost has become Red. So if the Lectionary is honest, and this is descriptive (rather than prescriptive) suddenly “most parishes” in NZ changed from the international, ecumenical White for the Great Fifty Days of Eastertide to Red towards the end of it. [If another feast falls within those days, the colour of that feast may be chosen]. Why did these parishes suddenly change like this?!
Often, when the NZ Lectionary has inexplicable ideas, even to the point of breaching our own carefully-processed formularies, it is a fawning to mother Church of England. But that is not the case here. The http://almanac.oremus.org/lectionary/2012.html“>Church of England uses White throughout the Great Fifty Days of Eastertide.
This week, more than ever, we need people to sign up to Easter is 50 days. Invite your friends. Keep the Easter Candle burning. Use White. The NZ Lectionary is wrong.